gail ravgiala, editor
that old chestnut “what goes around comes
around” came to mind as we put together our annual renovation issue. How curious that the 1670 house on our cover
and featured on Page 102 was originally built with a simple
two-room, hall-and-parlor floor plan (Page 14), while the
2002 loft-style condo on Page 124 was designed with a similar basic public/private floor plan. Lifestyles and tastes have
changed over the last 343 years, but ultimately we somehow
ended up with the same spatial concept. As the centuries
passed, rooms designated for specific purposes — dining
rooms separate from kitchens, front parlors just for receiving guests — were more and more appreciated. Until they
weren’t. Open concept is the modus operandi in home design today, but like everything in
life, to make it work requires balance. The postwar ranch-style house architect Anna Gitelman reconfigured (Page 32) from an uninviting series of boxy little rooms into a light-filled
home where a modern family can easily interact has a second-floor addition that removes the
bedrooms from the ebb and flow of the open living space. As for that 2002 loft, too much open
space had to be contained so that its owners, authors Sue Miller and Douglas Bauer, could
have quiet, private places in which to write and study. In design (and in communications,
technology, and politics!), the challenge is to find the right balance of openness and privacy.
william morgan is an architectural writer and photographer based in
Providence and Design New England’s contributing editor for
architecture. He also joins our list of bloggers at DesignNewEngland.com
with his “Around New England” postings on the region’s idiosyncrasies.
For this issue, he wrote about an old-fashioned barn raising at the
Jamestown Community Farm in Rhode Island. design focus, page 76.
joeann hart is the author of the novels Float and Addled. She earned a
master of fine arts degree in writing and literature at Vermont’s
Bennington College under the exacting tutelage of instructor Douglas
Bauer, whose renovated Boston loft, which he shares with novelist Sue
Miller, Hart writes about in this issue. a novel move, page 124.
sam gray has been photographing homes for architects, builders, interior
designers, and magazines for more than 20 years, sometimes traveling far
from his own home in Wellesley, Massachusetts. For the story on artist
Sarah Benham, however, he returned to Southeastern Massachusetts,
where he spent his summers growing up. “I really enjoyed the setting of
Sarah’s home,” says Gray. “A small pond, rolling grounds, and a comfortable artist studio all made for a relaxing day of photography.”art, page 68.
from the editor
susan teare photographs residential and commercial architecture and
landscapes. Based in Burlington, Vermont, she happily headed north to
shoot a lakeside retreat. “We went last fall before dawn to capture the
house at sunrise. The lake had a layer of fog that slowly burned off as the
sun came up. It was so quiet and peaceful. This summer, we returned when
the owners were there and the place had come alive. The house was filled
with happiness, toys, books, good food, and fun!” family sequel, page 116.
Back Bay | Biddeford Pool
furnishings in harmony